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April 3, 2018
May 1, 2018

The Women in the Castle

Quick Glance



This is an incomplete number of incidents found in this 368 page book.

Author: Jessica Shattuck
Key Words: Fiction, Historical, World War II

Buy the same edition we reviewed, here On Amazon

Book Description:

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.

First Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naive Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resister’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.

As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.


We read this version of the book. Get the same one here on Amazon.

Reviewer's Notes

*This is an incomplete book review.*

At page 221, I decided not to finish. I have no real interest in discovering the ending; the characters are pretty sterile and move through the pages fairly lifelessly -perhaps that’s on purpose. And while I could skip over the pre/post sex scenes which are more detailed than I wish to read, I by no means find the story at all worth the run-ins I’ve had so far. As a result, some incidents have been provided, but this report is incomplete.


bullshi*t, sh*t is used several times; p*ss; "God knows" and "God forbid" are used throughout the book; b*st*rd a few times; bl**dy; whore; b*tch; c*nt;


Some war related scenes briefly mentioned by not graphic.

Sexual Content

There are numerous mentions of rape and one of the main characters was a constant rape victim. While it does not "show" the actual sex scene, there is descriptions provided before and afterwards of the event: a man touching her breast, her thighs, moving up slowly, etc. Their is also several scenes of consensual sex which again, although the scene is "skipped," enough details are provided of the couple's love making. At a dance, a woman is accosted by a man and can feel his penis while he dances with her and speaks incredibly vulgarly. A married man had multiple affairs and also kissed his life-long friend who was also married. Descriptions of women feeling feminine, their breasts feeling soft or raising. A man touching a woman's breasts. Young teens swimming in water naked together and some seeing each other. Women talking unashamedly a few times of sex and how men "want what they want."

Conversation Topics

There is drinking throughout the book. A man commits suicide. Some brief sentences of torture are mentioned.

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